72-hour food kits

72 Hour Food Kit List: What to Pack for Your Next Adventure

Non-Perishable Foods

A 72 hour food kit is one of the most important ways to prepare for an emergency situation. When compiling your emergency food kit, it is important to focus on non-perishable foods that can last for up to 72 hours. Non-perishable foods can be stored for a long time without going bad, making them a great choice for an emergency food kit.

Let's take a look at some of the best non-perishable foods to include in your kit:

Canned fruits and vegetables

Canned fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and provide both carbohydrates and fiber. Canned fruits are especially useful during an emergency as they come packed in their own juices, require no preparation and can be stored easily. Canned vegetables are also convenient and can be stored for long periods of time; they will last even longer if kept cool.

To ensure you have enough canned fruit or vegetables for the designated 72 hours plan to purchase two to three cans per person in your household for each category listed below:

  • Fruit options:
    • Diced or sliced peaches
    • Applesauce
    • Mandarins/clementines in 100% juice
    • Pears (in pear juice)
    • Fruit cocktail in 100% juice
    • Pineapple chunks in 100% juice (tidbits work too)
    • Mango slices or pieces in 100% juice
  • Vegetable options:
    • Corn (whole kernel or creamed)
    • Green beans
    • Mixed vegetables (carrots, green beans, potatoes, peas)
    • Tomatoes (whole, diced, stewed)

It is also important to have a manual can opener on hand as most canned food will not come with one.

Canned meats

Canned meats are a great way to provide quality protein when building a 72-hour food kit. Canned varieties of chicken, turkey, ham and tuna provide a high source of protein and make them an essential ingredient when creating essential food storage supplies.

Protein is important for providing energy for your body during unexpected events; also it is especially important for emergency preparedness food since you may need to be active in searching for help or doing other physical activities. It can be difficult to have access to fresh meat during an emergency situation, so having canned varieties available will help you with meeting your protein needs.

There are additional benefits of providing canned meats in a 72-hour kit such as low cost prices, longer shelf-lives, easy storage, and versatility with other quick meal ideas. In general, most canned meats will last 15-20 years if properly stored and their contents are safe to eat after that point in time. This makes canned meat one of the most economical staples available in terms of long-term storage options.

When considering the appropriate types of canned meats that are suitable for emergency relief kits; it is best to purchase unseasoned products such as chicken breast chunks or boneless skinless chicken breast slices which can be used in different dishes such as soups, salads or sandwiches. You may also want to get precooked varieties of ham or turkey so that you don’t have to bother about cooking prior to consuming them should the situation arise without sufficient resources for resourceful cooking techniques.

Overall, canned meat is an essential staple item that can be conveniently included in any 72 hour food kit due its portability and nutrition benefits.. Plus you will not regret having cans as part of your survival plan as they are typically long lasting if properly stored and can provide necessary elements needed for protection during challenging times such as stress induced dietary needs or energy requirements caused by physical activity routines.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is an ideal item for emergency situations because it is a tasty source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Not only is it non-perishable, but it also has a long shelf life as long as the jar remains unopened. When buying peanut butter for your emergency food kit, make sure to purchase natural peanut butter with no added sugar or salt.

If possible, choose smooth peanut butter in squeeze packaging that can easily be distributed and requires no utensils. Peanut butter will provide essential fats and proteins that are essential to sustaining energy and health during stressful periods or disasters. Additionally, peanut butter can be eaten without being heated as well as used to create other tasty meals like sandwiches or baked goods.

For those with allergies or dietary restrictions, other nut butters like almond or cashew are available in most grocery stores.

Nuts and seeds

When stocking your 72 hour food kit, nuts and seeds are always a great choice. They’re light, easy to store and are nutritional all-stars that don’t break the bank. Nuts and seeds contain high-quality proteins, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

There are many choices available when it comes to purchasing nuts and seeds for your 72-hour kit – almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, peanuts and cashews are just some of the popular varieties. Seeds like sunflower or pumpkin have great nutrition and texture too. Most of these varieties can be stored for up to six months in airtight containers at room temperature without too much spoilage.

When preparing your 72 hour food kit list, consider adding in some nut butters as well. Peanut butter is especially nutrient-dense and is packed with healthy fats and proteins. You can opt for popular options like almond butter or choose from a variety of unique blends that combine different nuts together into an even more delicious treat!

Dried fruits

Dried fruits are a great source of nutrition and provide both sweetness and crunch. Not to mention that most dried foods store easily and preserve their flavor, making them a wonderful addition to your emergency food supply.

Popular options for adding to your emergency food supply include:

  • Dried apples
  • Raisins
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mangoes
  • Grapes
  • Apricots
  • Coconut

You can buy pre-packaged bags of dried fruits or opt for freeze-drying as an option when creating your own 72-hour food kit.

Additionally, eating fresh fruit has numerous health benefits such as providing essential vitamins and minerals, aiding digestion, increasing energy levels and even fighting diseases! Whether you decide to buy pre-packaged bags or choose to create your own recipes in a dehydrator, adding some dried fruit to your emergency food supply is an easy task that could make all the difference in case of an emergency situation.


Cereal is one of the most versatile and non-perishable foods that can be included in emergency preparedness kits. It is easy to prepare, relatively inexpensive and contains essential energy-producing carbohydrates that can provide much needed sustenance during a disaster. Cereal can also be found in many different varieties, from internal hot cereal mixes like oatmeal and cream of wheat to ready-to-eat cereals such as corn flakes, granola or wheat bran.

When selecting cereal as part of your 72 hour food supply it is important to pay attention to the nutritional content of each variety. High levels of added sugar or salt should be avoided for health reasons. Opt for whole grain cereals with low added sugar, particularly those made with oats, barley, millet or buckwheat since these are all great sources of fiber and minerals such as folate vitamin B2(riboflavin) and magnesium.

Not only will whole grain cereal help provide valuable few sources of nutrition during an emergency but they are also low in fat and sodium when compared to other convenience food options such as white breads, cookies or chips. Additionally many types contain dried fruit which can provide additional vitamins and minerals or nuts which offer healthy fats for energy production during times of stress when energy may otherwise be hard to come by.

When preparing a 72 hour food kit it is a good idea to include a variety of cereals with different textures since these will provide more balance in terms of taste and nutrition when consumed alone or with an accompaniment such as milk or yogurt. Non-perishable foods like cereal will help you sustain yourself while waiting out an emergency; just try not forget the spoons!

Granola bars

Granola bars are an ideal non-perishable food for your 72 hour emergency kit; not only do they last for months, but they’re also very filling and easy to transport. Granola bars come in many different flavors and can be part of a balanced diet. They are made with whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, sugar, and other ingredients like chocolate chips or protein powder.

The sugar content may be high in some types of granola bars, so look for low-sugar options if possible.

Granola bars make a great snack as well as a meal replacement because they offer high amounts of fiber, carbohydrates and healthy fats that will give you energy throughout the day; this is why they’re often chosen for 72 hour kits over other snacks such as potato chips or candy bars. Make sure to add several boxes/bags of granola bars to your 72 hour kit so you have plenty on hand in case of emergency.


Water is the most important item in any emergency food storage kit. In a 72-hour emergency food storage kit, you should store a minimum of two gallons of drinking water per person. Store the water in containers such as gallon-sized jugs or plastic tanks of various sizes. Make sure they are sealed tightly and unopened. If you plan on being away from a water source, packing extra water is necessary to ensure that your drinking needs are met while on the road or at home in the event of an emergency.

In addition to drinking water, consider storing enough water to use for bathing, cooking and even cleaning up after meals if needed. Here are some recommendations on how much additional water to stock up on:

  • At least one gallon of water per day for each person for sanitation
  • At least one half gallon of water per day for each person for cooking and cleaning
  • Two gallons of extra water should be stored for each pet in your household as well

Remember to change out your stored tap aka municipal drinking waters every six months if used! Be sure to check dates before consuming any type of stored drinking or sanitation waters!

Cooking Supplies

Having the right cooking supplies is essential if you are putting together a 72 hour food kit. Cooking is an important part of surviving in an emergency, so having the right supplies on-hand is a must. The supplies you choose should be easy to store and highly versatile so that you can make the most out of them.

Let's take a look at some of the cooking supplies you need for your 72 hour food kit:

Portable stove

One of the most important items in any 72 hour food kit is a portable stove. In an emergency situation, it is important to have the ability to quickly and safely prepare meals with a complicated cooking setup.

Portable stoves allow you to easily cook food in any location, making them ideal for those who might be required to evacuate their homes or are camping on short notice. These multi-fuel stoves can operate on gas, liquid fuel such as white gas or petrol, alcohol, solid fuel tablets or even scavenged leaves and twigs.

When purchasing a portable stove for your 72 hour food kit, make sure you know how to use it properly and always follow safety guidelines. Portable stoves typically include a fuel tank, control valve/regulator/knob, flame holder plate and pot stand. Furthermore, make sure you choose the right size for your needs: small-sized stoves will be relevant for 2-4 people while large-sized models are suitable for larger groups of people.

For extra convenience we also recommend opting for multi-fuel model in case if some of your preferred fuel sources become unavailable during an emergency. A well-prepared 72 hour food kit should also include universal accessories such as lighters or matches and fire starter blocks to ensure that fires can be started quickly in any situation. Having all these essential supplies will help ensure that you and your family have access to hot meals during an emergency situation.


When planning for a 72-hour emergency kit, it is important to consider the type of fuel that will be needed to cook your food and drinks.

For cooking in (or on) fragile vessels such as metal pots and pans, liquid propane gas is the most common choice. As this fuel burns very cleanly and quietly, it is often preferable in places where you don't want to draw attention. Liquid Propane Gas stoves allow for an adjustable heat output so that you can boil or simmer your meals, depending on whatever food you might have available.

Making a fire can provide enough heat for some simple campouts, but conditions must be just right in order to stay warm and keep the fire going when needed. If more heat and control are required than a fire can provide, then camping stoves with pressurized cans of fuel is a necessity. These run on white gas (known in Australia as petrol), butane, propane, kerosene and even diesel – just make sure not to mix fuels!

Other types of power sources are also available for 72 hour eating kits such as solar cookers which require no burning of fuel other than natural sunlight. The effectiveness of these cookers depends on the weather conditions outside so make sure that one is chosen based on average weather patterns from year-to-year. Lastly keep in mind that if your emergency kit is mainly suited toward hiking/camping trips then pocket stoves are an incredibly light weight option with little set up time required before using them.


Matches or a lighter are essential items to carry when creating your 72 hour food kit. Games and lighters can provide warmth, light, and can be used to start a campfire; all valuable survival tools should an emergency situation ever occur.

When selecting matches, look for waterproof matches for added protection and/or keep them in a waterproof container. If possible, it is recommended that having two sources of fire starting technology in case one fails—for instance, having both matches and lighters. Also consider adding fire starters such as tinder tabs and/or fire sticks to help initiate the heat in even damp conditions.

Pots and pans

Pots and pans are essential equipment when cooking at home or while camping outdoors. They come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. When selecting the right cookware, consider the type of food you plan to prepare – this will influence the size and shape of pot or pan you’ll need.

Choose cookware where possible that is non-stick, or includes technology that prevents food from sticking to it during cooking. This will make for easy clean up afterwards. Cookware that is easy to clean will also help make meal times easier and enjoyable!

The following is a list of pots and pans typically found in a 72 hour food kit:

  • Standard stockpot (3 qt)
  • Saucepan (2 qt)
  • Steamer pot (2 qt)
  • Fry pan (8-inch diameter)
  • Dutch oven (4 qt) & lid
  • Roasting pan with rack


When you’re putting together a 72 hour food kit, it is important to include the right utensils in order to prepare and enjoy the meals that you’ll be eating. While forks, spoons, and knives will work fine for your meals, there are also some more specialized utensils that can come in handy. Here are some of the essential tools and tools you might want to consider including in your 72 hour kit:

  • Multi-Purpose Utensil: A multi-purpose tool is a great way to be prepared for any type of cooking situation. It usually consists of scissors, a bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew, tweezers, spatula/knife and more.
  • Cutting Board: Eating off of a cutting board can help reduce the chances of contamination if using a knife on different ingredients. A small collapsible board is ideal for easy storage and transport.
  • Spatula/Flippers: A piece of silicone spatula or flipper make flipping food with ease when cooking pancakes or omelets on a stovetop or grill. Silicone doesn’t react with heat the same way plastic does so these would be perfect over plastic during those high heat cook jobs!
  • Knife Sharpener: Keep your knives sharp over longer emergencies with this simple tool which takes up very little space. It typically comes as an abrasive stone you rub against the blade at an angle designed for specific blade types such as chef knives and folding blades.
  • Can Opener: This one should come in everyone’s 72 hour kit! Its definitely one item you don't want to forget when packing meals containing canned goods such as soups or stews!
  • Pot Gripper/Lid Lifter: Pot grippers are great for holding onto those hot pots after heating up but also handy when transferring them from place to place such as from grill side to table side easily without burning your arms off! They typically come in sets of two that grip into each other onto either end aiding with handling pans with ease.

Plates and cups

When assembling a 72-hour food kit, it's important to include all of the items necessary to make and eat a meal, including plates and cups. Plates and cups are important kitchen equipment essential for cooking and eating meals during an emergency or natural disaster.

When selecting plates and cups for your 72-hour food kit, opt for lightweight plastic or styrofoam dishes that are easy to transport. Splurge on the best quality you can afford so that it lasts longer in storage. Make sure to select items with colors that won’t fade over time; these colors can also make mealtime fun for children if needed!

If you’re low on space, consider purchasing double-duty items like bowls with handles or stackable plates that often double as lids. You may also want to throw in some extra paper plates and biodegradable cutlery just in case your regular dinnerware runs low on supply. Furthermore, having the right number of dishes is essential – be sure to count how many people will be using your 72-hour food kit before making a purchase.

To conclude, don’t neglect the importance of having ample supplies of plates and cups when assembling an emergency food kit. Remember this guide when creating a list full of essential kitchenware!


Having a 72-hour food kit is essential in any emergency situation, as it provides sustenance and nutrition during a time of need. While it's important to consider the basics such as protein and grains, there's also a host of miscellaneous items that can be added to your 72-hour food kit. Making sure to pack items like seasonings, snacks, and electrolyte tablets can help keep you nourished and energized until help arrives.

Let's take a look at some miscellaneous items you should consider packing in your 72-hour food kit:

First Aid Kit

Having a well-stocked first aid kit is an essential part of your 72 hour food kit. Accidents and emergencies can happen when you least expect them, and immediate medical care may not always be available. Having the right supplies on hand can enable you to provide immediate care before seeking further medical assistance.

Your first aid kit should include items such as:

  • Band-aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes
  • Gloves for protection
  • Cotton balls or swabs for cleaning wounds
  • Tweezers for splinter removal
  • Thermometer

You may also want to consider adding medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin for pain relief as well as prescription medications if needed. If you’re going on an extended trip or into remote areas where specialized care will not be immediately available, it’s also a good idea to include items like a suture kit and snakebite kit. Remember to keep your supplies in waterproof containers and make sure that all items are up to date with no expiration dates passed. Your first aid kit should be tailored to suit your needs and the needs of your group when away from help in an emergency situation.


Having a flashlight is an essential part of assembling a basic 72-hour food kit. A quality flashlight will help you to find your way in a dark situation and identify potential hazards or dangers. When choosing a flashlight, look for one with an adjustable beam, reliable power source (battery or rechargeable), and multiple brightness settings. It is also important to consider the durability of the flashlight and the size to make sure it can fit into your 72-hour food kit bag with ease.

Additionally, in order to maximize light output and conserve energy, bring extra batteries for your flashlight as well as additional bulbs if possible. Options such as LED (light-emitting diode) flashlights can provide brighter illumination while consuming less energy than traditional incandescent bulb flashlights, so this is also something to consider when purchasing a portable light source.

Having a dependable light source can be the difference between staying safe and dangerous circumstances during challenging conditions.


Batteries are a must-have for any emergency supply kit, as they are needed to power radios, flashlights, and other electronic items. When purchasing batteries, the two most common sizes required are ‘AA' and ‘D' size. Make sure to research what types of batteries the items in your kit require before making a purchase.

It is generally recommended that you buy alkaline batteries with a lifespan of 3-5 years in order to ensure that they will still be functional when you need them most. Additionally, be sure to check the expiration date listed on your battery's packaging as over time their performance may decrease significantly due to wear and tear or environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations.

Rechargeable batteries can also be used in place of traditional alkaline ones; however, depending on the severity of the situation you are facing it is important to note that some items may require more power than rechargeable batteries can provide.

Manual can opener

A manual can opener is a tool used to open metal cans. It is made up of two parts: the cutting wheel and the handle. The cutting wheel goes around the lid of the can and makes a hole, while the handle provides leverage for cutting through the metal lid. Manual can openers are simple, economical and easy to use, making them ideal for camping, outdoor events and emergency situations.

When shopping for a manual can opener, choose one with a comfortable grip handle that fits your hand well. Look for one with a curved blade that cuts along the edge evenly without leaving sharp edges on either side of the opening. Some manual can openers come with multiple blades so you can easily switch out worn blades without having to purchase an entirely new device. Additionally, choose one that offers a bottle opener feature so you have access to canned beverages during your outing or emergency situation.

Garbage bags

Garbage bags are an essential component of a 72-hour food kit. Not only do they give you a place to store your trash and food waste, but they can also provide many other uses in the survival situation such as providing the basic components of shelter, helping with water collection, and protecting items for transportation.

When choosing garbage bags for your 72-hour kit, be sure to select ones that are durable and can hold up in a variety of circumstances. You will also want to choose garbage bags in different sizes as some needs may require larger or smaller sizes depending on the circumstance. Some suggested items to include when packing your 72-hour kit are:

  • Large garbage bag (for shelter/temporary structure)
  • Medium garbage bag (for laundry/food wrap)
  • Smaller garbage bags (for water collection/contaminated material)
  • Extra Large Garbage Bags (for large items or carrying clothing and other supplies).

Before packing them into your kit, it is important to make sure that all the openings are securely taped off so that no unwanted materials can enter the bag or contaminate it’s contents. Additionally, you should mark each bag with its specific purpose so that you can quickly identify what item is inside if needed. Last but not least, be sure to reinforce any seams or creases by duct taping over them to further ensure durability and strength under varying conditions.

Hygiene products

Hygiene products should be taken into consideration when creating your emergency preparedness kit. Having access to toiletries, as small and simple as a tongue scraper to prevent bad breath, can make an emergency situation more bearable. Make sure your 72-hour kit contains the following items to maintain proper hygiene:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Soap
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Razor
  • Deodorant / Body spray
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Tissues / Toilet Paper

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What items should I include in my 72-hour food kit?

Answer 1: Your 72-hour food kit should include items that are non-perishable, easy to prepare, and have enough food to feed each person in your family for three days. Some suggested items include canned fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, peanut butter, energy bars, and granola; dried fruits, nuts, and jerky; crackers, cereal, and oatmeal; canned tuna, sardines, and salmon; powdered milk; and juice boxes. You should also include a manual can opener, plastic utensils, and disposable plates and cups.

Question 2: How much food should be in my 72-hour food kit?

Answer 2: You should have enough food to feed each person in your family for three days. The amount of food will depend on the size of your family and their dietary needs. You should plan for three meals per day per person, plus snacks. It is a good idea to include some extra food in case of emergency or if someone in the family needs extra nutrition.

Question 3: How often should I replace my 72-hour food kit food?

Answer 3: It is a good idea to check and replace your 72-hour food kit every 6 months. Items such as canned goods, energy bars, and crackers can have a short shelf life and should be replaced more regularly. If any of the food in your kit is expired, throw it out and replace it with fresh items.

72-hour food kits